cart01.gif (46900 octets)   advertise.bmp (90054 octets)

Back to Index 

Japanese Silver-Mounted Snaphaunce Pistol c. 1650  -

Item sold by Gregg Martin Auctions on 11/06/2006 for : $11,350.00

Lot 221 Detail

Extremely Rare Silver-Mounted Japanese Snaphaunce Pistol, c. 1650

.54 caliber, 5 1/2-inch octagonal barrel with flared and molded muzzle set with foresight, The barrel was probably forged in the same technique as swords of the region by using successive thin layers of steel laminated to produce a stronger material. The breech fitted with gilt-brass straps (for securing barrel to stock) and gilt-brass triggerguard. The lock is modeled on the European snaphaunce lock circa 1620-30. An ornately chiseled mechanism, depicting a three-clawed Dragon, symbol of hidden knowledge and supernatural power, and incorporating a Buddhist ceremonial sword encrusted in silver on the battery bridle. The fine relief work is related to that of a much-prized school of Tsuba design common during the 17th-century which suggests it may have been created by an accomplished artist of that discipline. The brass-covered pan is similar in design to many Japanese matchlocks of the period. The finely carved hardwood stock is superior in design and execution, reflecting the height of the gun-making art in 17th-century Japan.

Condition: Excellent, repaired fine crack at fore-end along right-side.

Note: The first Portuguese traders arriving in Japan in 1543 brought with them matchlock firearms which greatly impressed the Japanese shoguns and officials. An account of the early expeditions records that six and a half months after the presentation of a single musket to the ruler of Nagasaki, local craftsmen had produced six hundred representative copies and that by the mid 1550s there were over three hundred thousand examples throughout the Japanese empire. The ease with which the matchlock mechanism could be reproduced and the fact that Japan remained a closed society for centuries made advancements in firearms near non-existent, despite the fact that the flintlock system had been in use by the Portuguese until their expulsion from Japan in 1639. The lack of any mention of flintlocks in Japanese records of the period emphasizes the rarity of this early snaphaunce pistol strongly suggests that it was once the property of a high-ranking government official or shogun.

A testimonial letter written by Mr. Ian Bottomley Senior Curator, Oriental Department, Royal Armouries, Leeds, praising the quality of this pistol accompanies this lot. Mr. Bottomley states:
" I have never seen a Japanese gun having such a lavishly decorated lock and stock; this is really spectacular. At best there might be a little engraving of scrolls and tendrils on the lockplate with perhaps some lacquer decoration on the stock but nothing like this."

Provenance: William Goodwin Renwick Collection.

Estimate: $20000 - $30000

Extremely Rare Silver-Mounted Japanese Snaphaunce Pistol, c. 1650





Home Page

pincart.png (52718 octets)

Reloading .32 .38 .41 rimfire cartridges
(free Android application)

googleplay.jpg (8385 octets)

googleplay.jpg (8385 octets)

pincart.png (52718 octets)

Reloading pinfire cartridges
(free Android application)

googleplay.jpg (8385 octets)

googleplay.jpg (8385 octets)

DSC00169.jpg (9401 octets)

Firearms & Weapons

Priced in Auctions

Percussion shotguns
Hammer shotguns
Hammerless shotguns

Over/under shotguns

Double barrel rifles
Double barrel shotguns
Single barrel shotguns

Luger Pistols
Custom Lugers
DWM Lugers
Luger pistols & accessories
Mauser Lugers
Swiss Lugers

Mauser Pistols
Walther Pistols

Various German pistols

Astra Pistols
Beretta Pistols
CZ Pistols
FN Pistols
Spanish Pistols
Webley Pistols
Various Makes

Colt Auto Pistols
Colt 1900 Series
Colt 1911 Series
Colt 1903/08 Hammerless
Colt 1908 Vest Pocket
Colt Woodsman
Colt New Models

Colt Revolvers
Colt Long Arms
Colt Derringers
Colt Dragoon Revolver
Colt Frontier Revolver
Colt Long Arms
Colt Model 1849 Revolver
Colt Model 1851 Revolver
Colt Model 1860 Revolver
Colt Model 1861 Revolver
Colt Model 1862 Police
Colt Model 1865 Revolver
Colt Model 1877 Revolver
Colt Model 1878 DA Revolver
Colt New Line revolvers
Colt New Service
Colt Single Action Army
Colt Single Action Revolver
Various Colt Revolvers

U.S. Handguns
Auto Pistols

Pocket Pistols
Single-Shot Pistols

Civil War Griswold revolvers
Civil War LeMat revolvers
Civil War single shot percussion pistols
Civil War Remington revolvers
Civil War Starr revolvers
Civil War revolvers of various make

Winchester Firearms
Winchester Model 1860

Winchester Model 1866
Winchester Model 1873
Winchester Model 1876
Winchester Model 1886
Winchester Model 1894
Winchester Model 1895
Winchester various Models

Marlin Model 1881 rifles
Marlin Model 1888 rifles
Marlin Model 1889 rifles
Marlin Model 1893 rifles
Marlin various models

US Antique Guns
Breechloading Long Arms

Flintlock Long Arms
Flintlock Pistol
Percussion Long Arms
Percussion Pistol

Civil War ENFIELD rifles
Civil War Model 1816 rifles
Civil War Richmond rifles
Civil War other rifles
Civil War Sharps

Kentucky Pistols
Kentucky Rifles

A.H. Waters
Harpers Ferry
J. Henry
Other Makes
Simeon North

European Revolvers
Belgian Revolvers

English Revolvers
French Revolvers
Italian Revolvers
Other Countries

Pinfire Revolvers
Pinfire Pistols
Pinfire Shotguns

Lefaucheux Revolvers

Nagant Revolvers
St. Etienne Revolvers
Webley Revolvers
Other Makes

Japanese Firearms
Japanese Revolvers
Japanese Semi-Auto Pistols

Japanese Antique Firearms

Blade and pistol
Cane rifle
Firearms curiosities
Mutiple barrel pistols
Palm pistols
Percussion pistols
Pin-Fire guns
Pocket guns
Powder flasks
Target pistols
Turret firearms
Wheel Lock

British Military Rifles
Czech Military Rifles
German Military Rifles
Japanese Military Rifles
Russian Military Rifles
Swiss Military Rifles
US Military Rifles
US Military Shotguns
Various Countries Military Rifles

Anti-tank light weapons
Machine guns
Submachine guns

DSC00454.jpg (19469 octets)

Military collectibles